Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A Ginsberg Parody - "I know of a baby.."

[Detail from "Virgin and Child Adored by the Infant St John" - Lucas Cranach, the Elder - oil on panel, 36.5 × 27.5 cm (14.4 × 10.8 in) circa 1512-14]

Following yesterday's student presentations, Allen presents his own "I Syng Of A Mayden" parody  

AG:  I have a poem that’s practically virginal (in comparison), virgin but I switch sexes. Anybody else got one? - (because I'm eager to get on with mine) -  Okay, well I’ll give you mine then, anyway, then I'll get on with it - “I Know Of A Baby”
[Allen proceeds to reads his poem - "I know of a baby..”]

“I know of a baby which is never born/ Deathless human wisdom and lovers heart forlorn./ He sits down in silence there in mindfulness/. So we and our violence are calm as for a kiss. He sits down in silence that we guess at his power/ so we with our violence are calm as for the hour/ He sits down in silence there to speak so clear/ that we with our violence are calm that we can hear./ Born not a baby, made never not one cry/, Little lonely laddie will not close his eye.”

So it was switching from…same paradox, of a maiden that was without a mate to a baby that was never born. I switched the sex, and put it in from a theistic angle to a Buddhist unborn (to the Buddhist, you know, double-negative unborn) and included mindfulness of body, speech and mind. Violence? - that the mindfuness, power and speech.. (some rough equivalents of body-speech and mind there -  or mind, body and speech) So, I had a little bit of theology in it of one kind or another..

Student: Maybe you should read it once more

[Allen obliges and reads the poem once more]

“Laddie”’s a bit corny there. Also, (what) I was trying to do was imitate – even the rhymes, I think  “power and hour” for “shower” and “flower” – and “mindfulness” and “kiss” for, they had, “ches".. So let’s see where are we now?   

[Audio for the above can be heard here beginning at approximately thirty-nine-and-a-quarter minutes in and concludimg at approximately forty-one-and-a-half minutes in]

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